New St bike lane pilot project to committee Nov. 27, and My Take

New Street before (left) and after the New Street Bike Lane pilot project.

The City of Burlington began a one-year pilot on a section of New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line, reducing the number of lanes from four to three with buffered bike lanes.

Staff Report on One-Year Pilot Program – Nov. 27

A staff report with findings from the one-year New Street pilot project will be presented to Burlington City Council at the Committee of the Whole meeting on Mon. Nov. 27 at 6:30 p.m. A copy of the report will be available beginning Nov. 18 and can be found on the city’s webpage dedicated to the project.

Individuals who would like to speak before Council as a delegation may register online or call 905-335-7600, ext. 7855. All city Council meetings are available on webcast.

Updates on the New Street Pilot Project

Throughout the one-year New Street pilot project, the city will be sharing updates and information collected. Please subscribe to the New Street One-Year Pilot project page in the top right hand corner to stay updated.

Comparison of travel times on New Street before and after the implementation of the one-year pilot:

A Closer Look at the Numbers:

Direction Number of Recordings* Time Recorded Travel Time – Before pilot Travel Time – After pilot Change in Travel Time
Westbound (from Walkers Line to Guelph Line) 7,267 Afternoon rush hour between
4 and 6 p.m.
2 min. 27 sec. 3 min 39 sec. 1min. 12 sec.
23, 473 Weekday between 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 2 min. 14 sec. 2min. 30 sec. 16 sec.
Eastbound (from Guelph Line to Walkers Line) 3,076 Afternoon rush hour between
4 and 6 p.m.
2 min. 10 sec. 2 min. 13 sec. 3 sec.
18,871 Weekday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. 2 min. 12 sec. 2 min. 13 sec. 1 sec.

*Number of recordings: Travel time data on New Street between Walkers Line and Guelph Line was captured using BlueMAC technology.  When an outbound bluetooth signal is detected from a passing mobile phone or car, the BlueMAC technology, located at New Street and Walkers Line and New Street and Guelph Line, is able to record the travel time of each vehicle.

While the number of recordings does not represent the total number of cars using New Street during the times above, it does provide a sample size that is significantly larger than one captured manually.

My Take: Residents have reported significant delays turning from side streets onto New St, increased traffic on side streets that weren’t intended to handle the volume, and delays in travelling at certain times of the day. More than 2000 people have signed a petition seeking an end to the pilot project. We need to consider the lived experience and input from residents as much as the Bluetooth data. We have yet to learn whether there has been an increase in cyclists due to the new lanes, but we know the lanes have impacted thousands of drivers. When there is an accident on the QEW or 403, there is no extra capacity to take the volume on our streets, including New, leading to significant gridlock. When people are commuting home from long work days, or meetings or errands, each extra minute in traffic is precious time away from family. Based on what I have heard and learned so far, it doesn’t make sense to continue the lane restriction.

Written by Marianne Meed Ward

A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made.

As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington.

The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful.

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